The Seahawks come to town next Sunday for an encore performance of “Kick my butt!”
It’s doubtful the 49ers will be as generous this time around as they were two weeks ago in Seattle, when they gifted the Seahawks with 14 points while also flubbing away 6 to 14 points that were easily within their grasp.
So this game will be much closer than the previous one. You’ve got one team trying to nail down a wild card spot in the playoffs and the other team trying to ruin a perfectly fine spot atop the board at next year’s Draft. Afterall, Arik Armstead has no interest in the Niners having the number one spot, where they could draft someone like Nick Bosa, who would immediately relegate Arik to the bench or more likely a search through the league looking for a job next year.
Kyle Shanahan also would no doubt like to bolster his sagging reputation with what would be a meaningless win rather than take the calculating approach of the turkey on the other Bay Area team by tanking out the season. But players don’t always cooperate with the wishes of their HC and they go out and win games they could easily lose even if they were trying, which they aren’t supposed to be doing, but they do it anyway.
Only vested veterans know how to show up, collect a paycheck, and give the illusion that they are playing hard and trying to win. Rookies, who now make up most of the 49er starters, do not.
The Niners have lost 10 straight games to the Seahawks. If Nick Mullens puts an end to that streak Sunday, he’ll be a big time hero about as long as Alex Smith was after the 2011 season. Less, even. Because Shanahan still thinks CJ Beathard deserves to be the backup QB next year. And that probably wouldn’t change even if Mullens beat the Seahawks, Bears, and Rams to close out the season.
At any rate, be sure to return here Monday when we will explain how we knew all along what the outcome would be.